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"the best camera is the one in your bag" and mental pictures and stuff

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | |

The day was sunny. The weather chill. 9AM at Minuti Coffee next to Arby's at Sugarland. I came to meet Mark Meeker (of Christine Meeker Studios) to talk shop and enjoy the warm ambiance of Minuti.

He said something that really lodged itself in my head. "So," he prefaced, "do you carry a camera in your bag?"

I looked at the brown leatherette (read: pleather) fringed hobo bag next to me, oversized and happily spilling over as it reclined. "Why, yes," I said, pulling my blue Diana toy camera out of my bag.

"It's not digital?"

I shook my head and flipped him the back of the camera. "Film. See?"

"Isn't it funny," he said, "that neither one of us have a digital camera and we're both in the photography business?"

I pondered this: "Why?"

"Chase Jarvis was asked what the best camera is for photographers. And you know what he said? He said that the best camera is the one in your bag." Mark didn't even own a camera phone. Neither did I.

Huh. Another reason why I should chuck my blackberry. It's great for what it is, but I really would like a phone with a slick LCD to show off my photos and one that can take awesome pics so I could just snap away for tweeting or blogging or what have you.

But wait. I'm being unfair to my Diana. I love my Diana. I hated developing film and being in the darkroom in college. Hey, it's not my fault that the darkroom gave me the heebeejeebies. But I shoot 35mm films on my Diana, send it to Walgreens or Target or somewhere to get developed and then scan the negatives to my computer. I know that seems like a lot more work than just uploading a digital file from a digital camera, but there's something about carrying this one camera that makes me feel better. Sometimes I forget to advance the film and I end up with multiple exposures. Sometimes I forget to put the setting out of pinhole and end up with a completely black roll. Most of the time I get the field of view wrong and get a whole bunch of headless shots. That sounds awful, you're probably thinking. But for me it's an adventure. I never know what I'm going to get when the film gets developed.

After Mark left (who promised to bring his dslr wherever he goes ever after), I really, really wanted to take a picture of Minuti for this post. Just to say that I was there at this particular day on this particular time. But since it would mean waiting for me to finish my current roll of film (it's on frame number 2-ish), I decided to take a mental picture instead.

So here it is after said mental picture was processed:

Clearly you can see that this type of processing may result in some details being lost, while others were re-imagined :)

"the best camera is the one in your bag" and mental pictures and stuff is brought to you by Kris Fulk Photography


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Houston, TX, United States
Fashion, editorial and fine art photographer based in Houston, TX. Sometime illustrator. Always a dreamer.